Carol, you talked me into a brief report. Arrival at Couples Negril from Montego Bay is like all the other resorts--by the busride from H--- it's 2 hours on that awful road OR the Negril airport is directly across the street. When you arrive, there is someone to greet you with cool finger towels and a glass of champagne. The check-in process is slow if you arrive with the bus of people. Last time when we flew, we were the only ones checking in and the wait was momentary. The rooms are located in several buildings that are 3 stories high. We've stayed on all 3 floors and all are basically the same inside. The floors are all tile, one king bed. Beads to "enclose" the closet, nightstands on each side of the bed, a small tv with satellite, a cd radio, ceiling fan, patio doors that lead to a small patio with small round table and 2 chairs. The bath has a deep tub and shower-nicely done. All the rooms seem to be identical --I haven't seen the suites so can't comment on those. More later!
Trip Report Part #2----I left off with the rooms. Since Couples is only 3 years old, things are in pretty good repair. Ithink getting things fixed in Jamaica is a really slow process. On to the grounds/pool/beaches. Couples has done a great job with the landscaping. It is very lush with several ponds with koi and birds around. This year there was even a pair of peacocks strutting around! They have a gazebo where many weddings take place. There is one main pool with a hot tub at each end. The pool is really beautiful at night. There is are two levels of the pool with a waterfall type "thing" separating the two parts. On the lower part is a swim-up bar. There are lots of chairs and tables arouind the pool. There is also a bar a one end of the pool by the beach grill. There is also a smalldive pool by watersports--I guess where people learn how to scuba. I'm not into scuba so I'm not much help there. The beach is great. There is lots of beach--the sand is soft and white. When you walk out into the water, it's a sandy bottom. This year they added 2 restrooms at each end of the beach so you don;t have to go so far to "use the facilities"There's a clothing optional beach but it's very small. People here feel kind of like the stepchild because there's only a self-serve bar--they bring out 2 coolers with ice and red Stripe beer on tap. They place bottles of soft drinks, water, and liquor on the bar so when you're thirsty, you have to go up and fix your own. There's no bartender, no food there. you have to put on clothes to go get something to eat. This beach is right next to Grand Lido and there's just a Bamboo fence to shield clothing optional from clothing. Nude people walk into the water just next to the clothed ones! There's a rope to keep swimmers separated from the watersports stuff. Speaking of watersports.... They have all kinds of activities here. Kayaking. windsurfing, waterskiing,little paddleboats for 2, small sailboats for 2 to 4 people, and water bicycles. You can also go snorkling and scuba diving. They had night dives, too.
Restaurants---there are 3 here. The main dining room is the Cassava Terrace--it's completely open and also has the stage for the entertainment. Here they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is the buffet thing with someone set up for custom omlets, pancakes, waffles. There's also someone at another station who cuts fresh fruits. There's always cheese, several kinds of muffins, rolls, and someone to make some kind of breakfast drink. Also, my favorite thing is...on the doorkn ob to your room is a breakfast room service card to complete each night. You can choose juice, coffee, tea, bread basket, fruit plate. chooser the timeframe for delivery beginning with 6:30-7:00--put the card on the outside doorknob and voila! next morning someone knocks on your door and is ready to set your tray wherever--I like mine on the outside patio!
Lunch is usually buffet--they added this year a sandwich making station for sub-type sandwiches. They have wonderful local vegetables and local main dishes. Dinner is many times buffet, too. On friday nights all the restaurants serve lobster. They also do a Jamaican buffet out around one end of the pool--you sit out at tableclothed tables around the pool and dine under the stars. When there ia a menu to choose from in the main dining room, there are hot and cold appetizers, hot and cold soups, several main entrees, usually beef, chicken, vegetarian and local specialties. I think the food is very good. Thet do salad bar & here the lack of vegetables to put on the lettuce is my only complaint. The wait staff is always around with the bottles of wine--but want a drink or a glass of tea----plan for a long wait...
there's also a bar right by the restaurant that is only open during dinner and the show. The beach grill is the snack place. It doesn't serve breakfast but does do lunch and dinner. For lunch, it does the hamburger, hot dog, jerked chicken stuff. They have also included a salad bar and nachos with cheese and salsa. They have those meat and chicken partties, too. At night they are a full service restaurant. they always have order from the menu service. They always had rib eye steak. last year it was ok. this year --much improved. This used to be the pasta restaurant and it was just passable but this year I preferred this restaurant to the main one. They, too, do the salad bar--not much in veggies for the lettuce...but they do try to please and genuinely seem interested in pleasing you. The 3rd restaurant is the Otaheite. It's by reservation only---men must wear long pants, collared shirt, no sandles....it's completely enclosed--air conditioned--VERY FANCY!!! Plan to spend all night here--they do several courses and the beauty is in the presentation.
Entertainment is low key here, there's an activity board that tells the day's events. you can do as much as you like or nothing!! There's no pressure to join in. Each night at dinner there's the house band or sometimes a Jamaican special singer will be booked. They have staff and guest talent show one night....
Excursions are part of what you paid for. These events are on a schedule for certain days during the week. There's the trip to Rick's cafe for the sunset--you pay for what you drink or eat. they take you there about 5 and you stay until 7 for the sunset. there's the Negril Craft Market shopping trip--buy your souvenirs. then there's the catamaran trip. they do this either in the morning or on an afternoon. I've only done the afternoon where you go to Pickled Parrot and swim or go off the slide or the rope swing--then ride back to the resort just as the sun sets. There is red stripe beer and rum punch and non alcoholic drinks--provided free(you're paid for it in the up-front price). They have a glass bottomed boat trip that takes you over reefs to see the coral and to point out the other resorts that are along Negril Beach. Neat trip!!
I think I've touched on the highlights. I learn so much from reading other people's trip reports so I hope I've given back some info and helped someone else. Just pose questions and I'll try to answer!!